Did you know there’s a free local program, funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, that helps Houston business owners get back on track and positioned for success? Based at Houston Community College in Southwest Houston, it’s called Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and it’s paying off major dividends to the local business community.
“New businesses tend to close between their second and fourth years of operation,” says CATHY LANDRY, executive director of the program. “So that’s where we come in and help them with a tune-up. It’s a very structured business boot camp over a three-month period.”
Taught by actual business owners with real-world experience, the curriculum comes from Babson College (the top entrepreneurship program in the country) and the business negotiation cases used are from Harvard Business School. Through the program, the selected participants gain practical skills in negotiation, marketing and employee management that can immediately be put into action. In addition, the “students” receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan to take their business – whatever it is – to the next level.
Sounds ambitious – but it’s working. According to LIZ LARA CARRENO, the program’s outreach director and an instructor, “The results speak for themselves. As of January 2017, the Houston program (one of 14 participating cities) has graduated 478 local business owners who are now part of the National Goldman Sachs Alumni.”
In addition, of those graduates:
• 85% of business owners that graduated are now doing business together
• 2–108 business age range in years
• 61% of these businesses created jobs
• 82% of these businesses grew revenues
Each session, 30 businesses (who have to apply) are selected. “They become very close,” says Carreno. “We bring in a diverse business cross section – from electrical contractors to public relations firms to medical doctors. After graduation, we follow them for an 18-month period to check their progress.”
Let’s meet some of the alumni:
President, Aria Services
Irsan has been in wireless telecom infrastructure industry, focusing in architecture and engineering since 1997. He founded Aria Services, Inc., in 2010 in an effort to provide faster, economical and quality construction drawings and structural analyses within this particular field. “This program really gave me the tools I needed for a tune-up,” says Irsan, also a competitive ballroom dancer.
Principal and CEO, Studio Brand Collective
Karee Laing is the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Studio Brand Collective (SBC), a Houston design and digital marketing agency focused on providing results-driven marketing solutions to businesses in the health and beauty, restaurant and professional services industries. In just over three years, Karee has led the growth of SBC from a one-person team to a 16-person team. “The networking aspect of 10,000 Small Businesses is very powerful,” she says. “The connections I have made are so valuable.”
President, J3 Resources, Inc.
As President of J3 Resources, Inc., which focuses on indoor air quality, Cathy Poye’s strong background in commercial real estate, business development, marketing and communications, along with her performance-driven objectives, have provided her with the expertise essential to making J3 the thriving company that it is today. “The quality of the curriculum and the expertise of the instructors are really impressive. I am a strong advocate and ambassador for the program!” says Poye.
Managing Partner, PMG Project Management Group, LLC.
Vladimir is a professional licensed engineer in the State of Texas and owner of PMG Project Management Group, LLC, a Houston firm that provides project management, energy solutions and general construction services. Vladimir has more than 22 years of experience in the construction, engineering and energy efficiency industries. “As an advocate for small businesses, I can not praise the Goldman Sachs program enough,” he enthuses.
Do you have what it takes to join the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program?
It all starts with an application. Visit www.10ksbapply.com to apply for the next session.